April 14, 2005

City Water Rates on the Rise Again

Less than two years after implementing the citys first water rate increase in more than a decade, the Memphis City Council voted to implement another cost hike for customers at the April 7th meeting.

The board of aldermen voted 3-0 to implement a new $10 per month availability charge for each water meter. In addition, the council approved a 10-percent price increase for water and sewer rates.

There is no easy way of doing this, but currently we are in the red every month in the water fund, said Alderman Teresa Skinner.

The council pointed out it had lost roughly $200,000 when rural water switched to Lake Rathbun. Instead of being able to add to needed reserves for maintenance and future repairs, the city had seen its water fund slowly evaporate since 1999 when there was an excess of nearly a quarter million dollars in the fund, which is now empty.

Our water rates are actually pretty cheap compared to everyone else, as a matter of fact they are too cheap, said water superintendent Dennis Howard. If rates had just been raised one or two percent every year over the past 15 years to keep up with rising costs, we wouldnt be faced with this now.

The City of Lancaster has a minimum charge of $14.50 per 1,000 gallons with a $7.50 charge per each additional 1,000 gallons used. Sewer cost is $9.00 minimum for the first 1,000 gallons plus $1 per 1,000 gallons after that. Lancaster closed its water plant a year ago and now purchases from Lake Rathbun after funding could not be secured to update the citys treatment facility.

The City of Kahoka charges a minimum of $7.50 per 2,000 gallons. The cost is $2.65 per 1,000 for additional water up to 8,000 gallons. Anything between 8,000 gallons up to 190,000 gallons used per month and the rate drops to $1.95 per 1,000. Over 200,000 gallons used costs $2.05 per 1,000. Anything beyond 5 million gallons used costs $4.10 per 1,000 gallons. Kahoka sewer charges are $2.40 for the first 2,000 gallons of water plus 99 cents per 1,000 gallons. Like Memphis, Kahoka still maintains its own treatment facility.

The City of Edina charges a minimum of $11 for the first 1,000 gallons and then $5.25 per 1,000 gallons thereafter. The sewer rate is $9.75 for the minimum with $2.50 charges per 1,000 gallons thereafter. Edina also was forced to close its own water plant and now purchases water from the Clarence Cannon water district.

The Scotland County Consolidated Public Water Supply District #1 charges a minimum of $14 for the first 1,000 gallons of water. The charge is $1 per 100 gallons thereafter up to 2,000 gallons. After 2,000 gallons, each additional 100 gallons costs 50 cents.

Over the past several months the aldermen have held work sessions to discuss ways to fix the problem. But after making budget reductions and cutting expenses, the city leaders still could not make ends meet, necessitating a price increase.

Customers had been paying $9 for the first 1,000 gallons of water plus $3 for sewer. The rate then was 41.7 cents per 100 gallons for water plus 15 cents per 100 gallons for sewer, used above and beyond the 1,000 gallon minimum.

Under the new price guidelines, customers will pay the $10 monthly meter charge plus $9.00 for the minimum 1,000 gallons and $3.00 for sewer. The cost per 100 gallons beyond the minimum will raise 10 percent to 45.87 cents plus 16.5 cents for sewer.

Alderman Skinner pointed out that the average customer will only experience an increase in cost of around $13 a month. That is based on the average use of 5,000 gallons, which will now cost customers $46.95 compared to the old cost of $34.68, a hike of $12.27.

However the impact will be more significant for commercial users. One of the citys largest water customers was on hand to discuss the issue. He pointed out that in 2003 the city raised his water cost by more than 40 percent, meaning he will be looking at a cost hike of more than 50 percent.

The council noted its concern over the impact on businesses but did not offer any solutions for the commercial clients.

The aldermen noted their frustration with the Consolidated Public Water Supply District #1 for switching to Lake Rathbun instead of using the available funding to help build a bigger city water plant that the council felt would have been better for all involved.

When asked why the switch was made the council had no answers and suggested concerned citizens should attend the rural water board meetings to try and get an answer.

We looked at several price increase scenarios, but the best scenario would be for the county customers to come back, said one alderman.

The $10 availability charge is expected to go into effect in May or June after the council officially approves the ordinance. The new rate structure, including the 10-percent increase, will take effect with the beginning of the new fiscal year, September 1.

The $10 meter charge is expected to generate more than $120,000 annually. Combined with the rate increase and the cost cutting moves the council made, the aldermen hoped the change would return the water fund to solid financial ground.

Two Winners Named in Rose Hardware $500 Shopping Giveaway

Bill Hall of Memphis receives his $500 shopping spree from Rose Hardware owners Scott and Angela Westhoff.

Bill Hall of Memphis receives his $500 shopping spree from Rose Hardware owners Scott and Angela Westhoff.

The Christmas season just got a little more golden for Rose Do it Best Hardware and James “Bill” Hall of Memphis and Debbie Goff of Arbela.

On Monday, November 21, 2016, Bill Hall and Debbie Goff were chosen as the winner of the Rose Do it Best Hardware $500 Shopping Giveaway.  Bill and Debbie were selected at random from more than 1,500 entries submitted at the store from August 29-November 15, 2016.

Store owners, Scott and Angela Westhoff said that Rose Do it Best Hardware is delighted to provide two of its customers with the opportunity to make their fall/winter projects a little more exciting.  “Everyone has a few extra chores this time of year, and we’re glad that Bill and Debbie will be able to choose whatever tools and supplies they need to get the job done.  We thank all those who entered the giveaway for their participation.”

Debbie Goff of Arbela receives her $500 shopping spree from Rose Hardware owners Scott and Angela Westhoff.

Debbie Goff of Arbela receives her $500 shopping spree from Rose Hardware owners Scott and Angela Westhoff.

Rose Do it Best Hardware is located at 109 South Main on the west side of the Memphis square, and has been serving customers in the area for over 75 years.  Rose Do it Best Hardware offers a complete line of hardware, plumbing, electrical, paint, housewares, and tool supplies for everyone from the do-it-yourself homeowner to the professional.  Rose Do it Best Hardware has been a Do it Best Corp. member since August 2002.

Based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Do it Best Corp. is the only full-service U.S.-based, member-owned hardware, lumber and building materials buying cooperative in the home improvement industry.  With annual sales of $2.99 billion, Do it Best Corp. is the second largest co-op in the industry, serving 3800 member-owned stores in the United States and in 53 countries.

Scotland County School Foundation Issues First Round of Grants

SCR-I instructors Kara Wickert, Angie Cochran and Lora Eggleston are pictured with Scotland County School Foundation representatives Ellen Aylward and George Koontz receiving a mini-grant from the foundation to fund a proposed field trip for the school’s book club.

SCR-I instructors Kara Wickert, Angie Cochran and Lora Eggleston are pictured with Scotland County School Foundation representatives Ellen Aylward and George Koontz receiving a mini-grant from the foundation to fund a proposed field trip for the school’s book club.

The Scotland County School Foundation recently awarded its first round of four classroom mini-grants to teachers at SCR-1 elementary and high school.

The grants can be awarded up to the maximum amount of $250.

In the elementary school, Lori Bish requested funds to purchase a mini iPad and case for her students’ use in the classroom.  With the iPad her students can listen to stories, play interactive educational games and also learn the world of technology at their workstation time.

Also at the elementary, Kara Wickert, Angie Cochran and Lora Eggleston, 6th grade book club teachers, requested funding for a field trip to the St. Louis Holocaust Museum.  The field trip is a follow-up to a unit where students read Passage to Freedom and Prisoner B-3087, as well as other holocaust stories.  Their reading has led the students to pursue research into America’s involvement in World War II and other information about the period of history.

At the high school, FACS instructor Jenna Ketchum submitted her grant application to help with the cost of a cheese-tasting lab for her dairy unit in the Foods II class.  Mrs. Ketchum purchases a variety of 70-75 types of cheese for the students to taste and compare flavors, textures, colors, dryness, etc.

Also at the high school, Terri Slaughter requested funding for the purchase of books to use in her Anatomy class entitled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, about the life of a poor, black tobacco farmer known to scientists as HeLa, whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for the development of the polio vaccine, gene mapping, etc. The Anatomy unit will also cover topics of medical research and bioethics.

If you would like to contribute financially to the work of the Scotland County School Foundation, please contact Ellen Aylward at 660-216-9951 or Chris Kempke at 465-7255.  The Scotland County School Foundation is a 501 (c)3 non-profit corporation with the sole mission to provide educational opportunities to the students, teachers, and staff of the Scotland County R-1 School District, beyond those that can be provided by the District itself, and to promote and encourage the highest standards of educational excellence and achievement.

$175,000 Loan, Grant Finalized for New Memphis City Sanitation truck

trash-truck

Grant and loan funding for a new waste disposal truck were finalized at the December 1st meeting of the Memphis City Council with some good news for customers of the local service.

Interest rates for the $150,000 loan from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) lowered during the closing period for the loan, dropping from 2.875% to 2.375%, creating approximately $400 a month in savings for the Memphis Community Betterment Organization (MCBO), which is securing the funding on behalf of the Memphis City Sanitation.

In addition to the loan, USDA is also providing a $25,000 grant to MCBO to help meet the needs for a new trash truck. The USDA helped secure the low interest rates for the seven-year loan that will allow the city to replace its lone trash truck. Proceeds from residential and commercial refuse collection fees will be used to repay the loan.

Disability Insurance

In other business, the Memphis City Council approved the addition of a short-term disability policy to the insurance coverage offered by the city to its employees.

The policy will aid employees who have an injury or illness that forces them to miss more than seven consecutive days and having exhausted all other sick leave and paid vacation. It will provide a disability payment of 67% of the employee’s base bi-weekly wage or salary. The benefit may be paid for a maximum of 90 days per calendar year.

Law Offenses

The council also brought policy and codes up to date with a new Chapter 215 of the city code book dealing with law offenses.

Passage of Senate Bill 491 and House Bill 1371 by state law makers created several changes to state statutes dealing with crime and punishment and these changes are reflected in the new Chapter 215.

Passed in 2014, the state law changes were the first to Missouri’s criminal code since 1979. Among the changes are stiffer penalties for crimes against children and for fatal drunk driving incidents while reducing penalties for marijuana possession.

Levee

Superintendent Roy Monroe indicated that efforts to pursue a possible earthen levee to protect the city’s light and water plants from future flooding has run into issues with the Missouri Corp of Engineers regarding potential changes to be made to wetland areas.

The city is considering constructing the levee on private property west of the facility as a more cost efficient alternative to building cement flood walls around the city’s main electric substation, which lies east of the Fabius River, which in the past decade has twice flooded enough to threaten the facilities.

Park Shelters

Monroe also reported that the city’s grant application for funding to replace several deteriorating shelter houses at the city parks, was denied by the state.

The council instructed Monroe to seek building estimates for installing metal structures instead of the current wooden construction plans that were proposed in the grant application.

If more economical alternatives can be identified, the council agreed that the city should pursue local partnerships with community groups to seek funding to continue the necessary upgrades in the municipal park system to help expand public opportunities for recreation.

Local Efforts Helping to Bring Christmas to More Families

christmas-gifts-web

Less than 15 shopping days until Christmas! Letters to Santa Claus are being written and children are dreaming of presents under the Christmas tree. But in Scotland County, plenty of people are also remembering that it is better to give than receive.

A number of programs targeting area needy families are ensuring that everyone in Scotland County has a Merry Christmas.

The Christmas Wish program, a joint effort of the Scotland County R-I schools, Scotland County Divisions of Children and Family Services, ShopKo, Dollar General and J’s Foods and headed up by the United Methodist Church of Memphis, wrapped up efforts on December 5th to fill the Christmas lists of local families in need.

Patrons were able to adopt an anonymous child, picking their wish list off the Christmas tree at ShopKo, and completing the shopping for a child in need. Gift cards were also purchased thru J’s to provide a holiday meal and other food stuffs for families.

Project coordinator Stacy Browning of the UMC stated that local efforts helped fulfill the Christmas Wish for 42 families, including 118 children. That number was up slightly from 2015 when 38 families and 100 children were reached.

The gifts will be presented to the families and children on December 12th.

 If you missed out on supporting the Christmas Wish, Ignite Ministries is hosting a similar Toys Under The Tree event on December 17th.

Church leader Les Richmond indicated that 35 families, with just shy of 100 children, were aided by last year’s program.

Donors provide gifts and financial support to the project, which provides one main gift of approximately $35 in value as well as additional smaller “stocking stuffer” items.

Parents can pick out the gifts for their children and have them wrapped right there at the church.

Toys Under the Tree will be held Saturday, December 17th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

“If you need help putting Christmas gifts under the tree, there are lots of people in Scotland County that want to help,” said Richmond.

According to the Missouri Community Action Network, the poverty rate in Scotland County is 16.3%. In neighboring counties, that number is 18.2% in Schuyler, 15.7% in Clark, 19.4% in Knox and 26.9% in Adair.

All are above the 14.8% level for the state, where 875,495 Missourians are at 100% or below the Federal Poverty Level, which for a family of four is $24,250. Roughly 30% of those in poverty are children.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 was the high water mark for poverty in the state, when 16.2% of the population lived in poverty. The mark was declined each of the past three recording periods.

The United States Department of Agriculture reported Missouri’s food insecurity rate at 15.2% in 2016, meaning that more than 1 in 7 of the state’s residents at times has problems accessing adequate food.

That is one of the driving forces behind the local Tiger Packs program, which provides nutritious breakfasts, lunches and snacks on weekends for children who are eligible for the free breakfast/lunch program offered through the public school system.

Sponsored in part by the Scotland County Ministerial Alliance, the program currently serves more than 80 children in the Scotland County R-I school system and the Head Start program.

The program was supported by a fundraising drive at the recent Community Thanksgiving Service as well as by the local Boy Scouts, who have been collecting donations at public events such as the recent Christmas Bazaar in Memphis.

The local giving efforts aren’t limited to children.

The Scotland County Care Center and Residential Terrace offers the Angel tree program, which allows community members to adopt a resident(s) at the facilities to help wish them a Merry Christmas.

Started nearly a decade ago, the Angel ornaments on the tree feature information about a resident, with gift ideas, including dietary restrictions.

Tammy Hammond, activities director at SCCC said the number of angles ranges from 60 to 75 each year, with community members as well as SCCC staff and family, providing gifts of bath products, snacks, games, reading materials and clothing.

“This year we have 64 angels on the tree,” said Hammond. “Boy are the residents surprised and uplifted when they see their package.”

Edina Boy Hurt in Crash Near Rutledge

An Edina boy suffered minor injuries in a one-vehicle crash in Scotland County on Saturday just before noon.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Natalie T. Clark, 16 was eastbound on County Road 200, three miles southwest of Rutledge, when the 1997 Oldsmobile Aurora she was driving went off the left side of the roadway and overturned. A passenger in the vehicle, Thomas F. Reel, 5, sustained minor injuries in the crash.

Reel was transported by private vehicle to Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville for treatment of his injuries.

Both of the vehicles occupants were wearing safety devices.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

Respawn Video Game Center Opens on the Memphis Square

video-game

Respawn Video Game Center is the newest business to open its doors on the Memphis Square.  They are located on the southeast corner at 101 E. Monroe.

The new gaming center, owned and operated by Chris and Sheena Nichols, opened their doors Saturday, November 19th with an All-Night Gaming Party.  The next All-Night Gaming Party is scheduled for New Year’s Eve from 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.  Admission for the all-night event is $25 which includes free Casey’s pizza.  Beverages and snacks will also be available for purchase at the Center’s snack bar.

The All-Night Gaming Parties work like a lock-in.  In order to stay without a guardian, children must be nine years or older.  Parents must leave contact information and any child who desires to go home early, parents will be contacted for pick-up.

Regular hours for the Gaming Center are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 2:00-10:00 p.m., Friday from 2:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m., and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

There is a variety of pricing options including hourly ($7/hour, $15/3 hours, and $25 unlimited play).  Membership options include Silver, Gold, and Platinum pricing.  Party Packages for birthdays and other group events are also available.

Additionally, Chris and Sheena are offering an Honor Roll Program.  If students bring in their current Honor Roll certificates, they will get a free hour of play!  Also, area Church Youth Groups, accompanied by Youth Group Leaders, are able to play free on Thursday evenings from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

The gaming center is fully stocked with 15 Xbox One Systems and 15 full HD TVs.  All the Xbox systems are live and LAN connected.  There is also a full surround sound headset for each system and near 100 games to play, including the newest releases.

Chris and Sheena moved to Memphis about five years ago from Terre Haute, Indiana.  Sheena is originally from Memphis and they decided to return to this area so their son, Caiden, could grow up in a small town.  Caiden is currently in the fourth grade.  Chris and Sheena have another son, Jaxon, who is four years old.

Chris is also an LPN at Scotland County Hospital and is continuing his education to receive his RN.  Sheena is an RN and currently the Director of Nurses at the Scotland County Care Center.  Sheena is also continuing her education to receive her Clinical Nurse Specialist degree.

The couple’s purpose for opening Respawn Video Game Center was to give parents an affordable, close, and supervised activity center and another option for hosting birthday parties and other group events.

For all these details and more, call Chris at 660-223-3956 or visit their Facebook page at Respawn Video Game Center.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, December 8 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, December 9 – Sausage/Gravy Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Blueberry Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, December 12 – Waffles, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Biscuit, Apple Wedges, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, December 13 –Scrambled Eggs, Choice of Cereal, Hash Browns, Toast/Jelly, Apple Wedges, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, Dec. 14 – Ham/Cheese/Croissant, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Apple Wedges, Juice/Milk

Thursday, December 8 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, December 8 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Quesadillas, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Friday, December 9 – Tuna Noodle Casserole, Grilled Chicken Patty/Bun, Potato Rounds, Buttered Corn, Strawberry Shortcake, Fresh Fruit

Monday, December 12 – Chicken Patty/Bun, Juicy Burger/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Tomato Slices and Pickles, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, December 13 – School Made Pizza, Bar BQ Meatballs, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Vegetable Sticks/Dip, Green Beans, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, Dec. 14 –Sliced Turkey, Sliced Ham, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Buttered Corn, Dinner Roll, Cherry Cheese Cake, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, December 15 – Chili Soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Hamburger Bar, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Cheese Stick, Saltine Crackers

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thurs. December 8 – Creamed Chicken/Biscuit, Tomato and Zucchini Blend, Lettuce Salad, Bread, Fruit Salad

Friday, December 9 – Hot Beef Sandwich, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Carrots, Strawberry Shortcake/Topping

Monday, December 12 – Tenderloin/Bun/Onion, Sweet/Regular Fries, Pineapple, Cauliflower Vegetables, Cake

Tuesday, December 13 – Sausage/Biscuits/Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Applesauce, Ice Cream

Wed., December 14 – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Pickled Beets, Hot Roll, Fruit

Thurs. December 15 – Ham and Beans, Onions, Fried Potatoes, Carrot-Pineapple Jell-O Salad, Cornbread, Peanut Butter Cookie

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, Dec. 8 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 15 – Scotland County Health Department here for blood pressure checks.  Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

BABY ZEISET

Steven and Janice Zeiset of Memphis are the parents of a daughter, Shalyn Janae Zeiset, born November 29, 2016 at 2:15 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Shalyn weighed 7 lbs 0.8 oz and was 21 inches long. Siblings include Levi, Verlin, Kendon, Devon amd Ronald.

December Birds

December is here, along with all of the festivity, decorations, family gatherings, shopping, office parties, church programs, caroling, cookie exchanges, craft shows, I could go on and on.  Sometimes it seems we get our schedules so full, we do not leave time for ourselves, meditating, celebrating the birth of Christ and a simpler time.

I love to decorate, but sometimes finding myself getting stressed trying to get it all done.  This year, in the back of my mind, I keep saying less is more. Between shopping trips, Christmas plays, a girls’ night out or two, church programs, preparation for the holidays, before you know it the holidays are over.

I am not of the mind set to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving, as I do a lot of fall decoration, so I always strive to get the decorations up around the first of the month.  Hasn’t our weather been awesome.

I am so enjoying our extended fall.  Although it’s chilly this week, we still have fairly mild weather.  I have a great many birds on the trail, but not feeding anything at the house,  sparrows are my only visitor, with an occasional House Finch, Gold Finch, and Woodpecker.  I have a few Blue Jays, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers enjoying my corn feeder.

I have an abundance of beautiful pine cones.  Anyone need a gift idea for a bird watching friend, coat one in peanut butter or a cheap butter spread and dip or roll in mixed bird feed. Birds love this.

Another fun recipe for a good bird mix is as follows:  1 cup lard, 1 cup crunchy peanut butter, 2 cups cornmeal,  2 cups old fashioned oats, 1/2 c. Flour, 1/2 c. Sugar, 1/2 c. Raisins, 1/2 c. Ground corn, 1/2 c. Peanuts. Warm lard and peanut butter in microwave and mix with all other ingredients. This can be frozen as suet or fed on a platform feeder.

Enjoy making and giving homemade gifts this year.  Until next time, good bird watching.

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